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Elizabeth Vessey - The Open College of the Arts - OCA Showcase
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Elizabeth Vessey

BA (Hons) Visual Communications

Elizabeth Vessey

My OCA Journey 

“15 years ago, I attended a traditional university in the UK, gaining a degree in Art History. I was lucky enough to land a career within the marketing and advertising industries, with Graphic design being a prominent part of the role.

The challenge I had was that I had always been directing the development of design work, rather than being the creator, and my job didn’t provide the opportunity for me to explore it. I took a couple of graphic design courses in London, but I felt that I could do more. I wanted to learn more. 

In early 2011, following the birth of my daughter, I moved to South Korea, took a career break and felt it was time to take my design skills to another level. Degree level.

I reviewed many organisations, seeing what each course offered, until I found the OCA. The student successes, stories and artwork inspired me. OCA having students all over the world, really resonated with me too. 

3 years on, I have completed three units so far; Graphic Design 1, Illustration 1 and Photography 1. I will be continuing to complete the full BA (Hons) Visual Communications degree, which encapsulates Graphic Design.

The course so far has helped me steer my career in the right direction, enabling me to develop new skills which compliment my existing career.

My confidence as a Professional Creative has increased. This is due to a combination of carrying out in depth research, experimentation and having the courage to critically reflect. I can now produce better quality work using new techniques, keeping the fundamentals of design at the foundation of my ideas. I feel more comfortable brainstorming and developing my design ideas when it comes to taking on a new brief. 

A specific area of the course which has made an impact on me was learning how to write a strong creative brief for a client, allowing me to better analyse information, raise questions, fully understand a projects goals and focus on identifying the key points.

The unit ‘Working with a Client’ allowed me to present my solutions to a challenge and it has been very rewarding, bringing those skills into my every working life. To see my design work being used in the Marketing industry and making a positive impact on society.

I feel indebted to my tutor for the support I’ve received and encourage to keep experimenting and trying new things. She has been really helpful in sign-posting directions for ideas – looking at different designers whose work may be relevant to my own. I have found that the discussions that happen on OCA student boards and the OCA Facebook groups really inspire me to be involved and expand my ideas further.

I am certainly inspired to continue and feel very excited about my next unit.”